BY: Naa Anyema Collison
Ash Wednesday is a significant day in the Christian calendar.
Each year, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by Repentance, Fasting, Reflection, and ultimately celebration.
The practices of the day, such as the placing of ashes on the foreheads of participants, go back centuries and observed by various sectors of Christianity, including Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, and Methodists.
ADOATV’s Naa Anyema Collison was at the Cathedral Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Accra, and came through with the following report.
Ash Wednesday occurs a day after Shrove Tuesday and marks the first day of Lent, a six-week period during which Christians often abstain from rich foods and lifestyles.
Christians take part in the annual abstinent period of Lent in order to commemorate Jesus Christ, who, according to a biblical narrative, once spent 40 days and nights fasting in the Judaean Desert while being tempted by Satan. This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Wednesday, February 17.
Ash Wednesday occurs exactly 46 days before Easter Sunday, which is a moveable feast.
How it is observed?
During church services on Ash Wednesday, members of the clergy mark the sign of the cross on the foreheads of worshippers using ashes from the previous year’s burnt palm fronds mixed with holy water or olive oil.
As the cross is marked on a person’s forehead by a member of the clergy, they say: “Remember that you are guest, and to dust, you shall return.”